Maltese BBQs bring with them the licking of greasy fingers that have been stuffed into salty packets of crisps, incessant munching on ‘zalzett mir-roża’ (u xi naqra wudy għad-dritt), and a huge burger stuffed with greasy bacon and cheese.  This food routine is not only unhealthy, but also tends to get boring after some time. So how can you change things around?

Instead of Crisps go for Kale Chips or Chick Peas


Healthy Roasted Seasoned Chick Peas with Different Spices

If you need something with a satisfying crunch, step away from those greasy crisps. Kale chips or roasted chick peas also have a crunchy feel and they have considerably less calories than potato crisps. They are also higher in fibre and protein, and they’re super easy to make. All you need is some seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil before placing them in an oven for a few minutes. If you’re going for kale chips, add some feta cheese for a tastier flavour.

Instead of Sausages go for Vegetable Skewers

alternative BBQ food

That sausages are harmful to our health is an understatement. Apart from the very high fat and salt content, the biggest problem lies with the strong presence of nitrates and nitrites which can be converted into cancer-causing compounds in the body.  A good thing to substitute sausages with would be grilled vegetables on a skewer. Yes, we know it sounds bland and obvious, but with some seasoning, grilled vegetables can be super yummy and healthy. For the best results, go for aubergines, coloured peppers, marrows, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms.  In order to ensure the best taste possible, just prepare a bowl of olive oil with pepper, salt and some seasoning and brush lightly over the vegetables before placing them on the grill.

Instead of Beef Burgers, go for Portobello Mushroom Burgers

alternative BBQ food

Beef burgers, particularly those readymade ones you buy by the dozen are full of trans fat, and a variety of harmful additives like sodium phosphate. Don’t be fooled by the percentage of meat in burgers — what is listed as meat contains a lot of other waste and by-products like bone, cartilage and connective tissue.

Why don’t you opt for a Portobello mushroom burger instead? They’re a lot easier to make than you think. Create a basic marinade using vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour over the mushrooms and leave them to soak for 30 minutes. Then grill them for 4 minutes on each side. Serve with your favourite toppings.

Instead of Ice Cream, go for Grilled Fruit

alternative BBQ food

The end of the BBQ means scoops of fattening icecream to freshen us up. While we can never tell you to stop eating icecream, consider leaving the icecream to the side for a few BBQs and put some fruit on the grill. Yes, we know it sounds crazy, but a lot of fruit are actually great on the grill. Some of the best fruit to try can be peach; cook with skin 4 minutes on each side until charred or softened. Or else opt for banana – you just need to cut it in half length wise and grill away at it. (And if you want an unhealthy kick, add marshmallows and chocolate, wrap in foil and enjoy!)

© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Amy Webb